(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden, Burlington) to ensure that health insurers cover human breast milk was approved, 66-1-2, Thursday by the full Legislature. It now heads to the Governor’s desk.
Human Milk Banks, under the bill, is an organized service for the selection of a donor of human breast milk, the collection, processing, storage, and marketing of donated human breast milk, and the distribution of donated human breast milk to a hospital for a specific use.
The bill (A-1470) requires health benefits coverage for donated human milk under certain conditions. The bill was released on Thursday by the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.
“For any product in a high-demand industry, costs run high. Currently, human milk breast milk can cost a family up to $4 an ounce,” continued Lampitt, who is chair of the Assembly Women and Children Committee. “Mothers are turning to the internet to find breast milk at a cost they can afford. Without regulation in place for Human Milk Banks, mothers have no way of knowing if the milk being purchased is certified or meets the quality of standards it should.
“Requiring health benefits coverage will help us to better ensure that mothers, who not produce it themselves, have access to breast milk that meets the standards of quality their infants deserve.”
Lampitt’s bill requires health insurers to provide health benefits coverage for any expenses incurred in the provision of donated human breast milk provided that:
1) The covered person is an infant under the age of six months;
2) A physician prescribes the milk for the covered person; and
3) The milk is obtained from a human milk bank that meets quality guidelines established by the Department of Health, or that is licensed by the Department of Health.
The bill lists health, hospital and medical service corporations, commercial individual and group health insurers, health maintenance organizations, health benefits plans issued pursuant to the New Jersey Individual Health Coverage and Small Employer Health Benefits Programs, the State Health Benefits Program under health insurers’ provided for in this bill.